Unity and Western in 2A State Semifinals Thursday

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Des Moines Iowa — Thursday is semifinal day in Class 2A at the State Girls Basketball Tournament in Des Moines. The upper bracket semi will match top ranked and unbeaten Unity Christian against #6 South Central Calhoun in an 11:45 opening tip off. That will be followed by the lower bracket semi with second ranked and three time defending champion Western Christian going against #3 North Linn.

To reach the semifinals Chanda Zomermaand scored 19 points to lead the Knights past  Cascade 53-34. Unity (25-0) dominated on the defensive end against a team known for its defense. The Knights were just the sixth team to score more than 40 points against the Cougars, who finish 21-4.

Anna Kiel added 14 points and eight rebounds for Unity, while Kassidy De Jong grabbed 11 rebounds and scored eight points.

South Central Calhoun capitalized on its size to win in the state tournament for the first time in their quarterfinal game.The sixth-ranked Titans took the lead for good with a 10-0 run late in the first half and went on to a 64-50 victory over No. 4 IKM-Manning.

With a frontline of 6-foot-1 Kori Assman, 6-foot Haley Birks and 5-11 Tyffaney Toms, South Central Calhoun got inside and outrebounded IKM-Manning 41-29 and held the Wolves to 21 percent shooting in the second half.

Assman led South Central Calhoun with 17 points, Birks scored 16 and Micheala Graffunder added 13 to go with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Toms had eight points and nine rebounds.

 

 

In the lower bracket the Wolfpack advanced to the semifinals as freshman Ashtyn Veerbeek came off the bench to score 17 points and grab 10 rebounds as the second-ranked Wolfpack held off No. 12 Iowa City Regina 50-45 to complete first-round action in Class 2A.

Payton Harmsen added 12 points for Western Christian (22-3) and Jamie Gesink scored 11 and pulled down nine rebounds.

Veerbeek, a 6-footer with strong moves around the basket, made 6 of 9 shots and had four blocks, including two key ones late in the game.

With Western leading 45-42, Veerbeek blocked Hannah Stein’s shot and Gesink, the all-tournament captain last year, sank a free throw to make it a two-possession game.

A minute later, Veerbeek went to the free throw line with the Wolfpack again ahead by three and sank both shots for the game’s final points with 11.3 seconds remaining.

Our broadcast coverage begins with pregame for Unity and South Central Calhoun at 11:30 with opening tip at 11:45. The Western and North Linn semi will follow. We’ll bring it to you on KIWA fm 105.3 and stream the action from www.kiwaradio.com.

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